Oregon’s largest winery and one of North America’s largest suppliers of wine bottles developed an environmental program that exemplifies the wine industry’s commitment to ecological stewardship.

King Estate Winery elected to change to a more sustainable glass bottle than it had been using for the prior decade. With TricorBraun (TricorBraun.com) WinePak’s (WinePakDirect.com) guidance, the winery selected the Eco Series bottles manufactured by Verallia North America.

“This is a winery that thinks ‘outside the bottle’ and the Eco Series selection was just the starting point for a sweeping sustainability program,” Gillian Brennan, TricorBraun WinePak’s representative says.

“King Estate is all about sustainability, supporting the environment and recycling,” says Josh Rutherford, the winery’s purchasing manager.

Together, Ms. Brennan and Mr. Rutherford began revamping the way the 1,000- acre winery thought about and addressed its commitment to sustainability.

Ms. Brennan sourced corrugated cartons from a local company which also enabled the winery to incorporate an innovative QR code and use a local printer.

They also chose a sesame tape to seal the new cartons. In addition to providing a seamless closure and an easy-opening box, the new tape offered protection for the product and guaranteed a clean display in its retail setting.

Ms Brennan was able to reduce delivery errors by selecting a local, reliable trucking company.

An internal recycling program was launched by returning an idle baler to use. The winery’s warehouse team learned the best way to sort and bale molded plastic and plastic film. It also began mixing office paper and corrugated to form 1,250-pound bales. Rather than use its own employees to transport unbundled waste, King Estate now calls the recycler for a no-charge pickup when it has approximately 20 bales of recyclable material. During its busy season, the winery may assemble 20 bales once a month, and at that rate, it receives a monthly check for approximately $1,200.

 “The search for an eco-bottle turned into a sustainable and rewarding partnership,” Ms. Brennan says. TricorBraun WinePak now handles all King Estate’s wine packaging needs. As the winery expands into the personal care category, it has begun working with other TricorBraun divisions to source packaging for the hand lotions and soaps made from lavender now grown on the King Estate.